Poole Harbour sightings blog

A record of all interesting and notable sightings from around the harbour throughout the year.

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Archive for August, 2019

Harbour Update – posted 21/08/19

Posted on: August 21st, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Another productive day in the harbour today with lots going on. The main highlight was the harbour’s (and the UKs) first Ortolan Bunting of the autumn which was sound recorded at night flying over/through the Corfe Gap at 4:30am. It was a good night for night recording despite the crystal clear sky which also saw 1 each of Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin and Redshank logged, also a small Common Tern flock, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Tree Pipit, 10 Robin, 2 flycatcher sp and 1 Little Grebe. Hopefully this means the flood gates are open and we’ll begin recording plenty more of these species.

This morning we also hosted our first Osprey watch event at Ham Common viewpoint, Rockley which was a great success with 4-5 different Osprey seen, including three at once for several minutes. Our team were set up with telescopes and binoculars for visitors to use and the good news it we’ll be there again next Wednesday morning so why not join us. Or, if you can’t wait until then to see an Osprey our Osprey cruises are running from Aug 24th to Sept 1st and for full booking details CLICK HERE.

Elsewhere in the harbour an Osprey was on the Middlebere nest platform for a lot of the day, and was even seen nest prepping/stick moving later in the afternoon which suggests CJ7 may not be the only interested female in town. In the Wareham Channel there were 328 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Common Sandpiper in the mouth of the Frome. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 12 Spoonbill and 2 Arctic Tern were in a large gull flock off Arne. At Sunnyside Farm a Hobby dashed past the scrape viewing screen and a Yellow Wagtail flew over the cattle field. Marsh Harrier’s were seen over Giggers Island and at Holton Pools where a Kingfisher was on he sticks too.

Harbour Update – posted 20/08/19

Posted on: August 20th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

If you thought yesterday was Osprey-tastic, then today was Ospre-ndulous! A grand total of 4 Osprey were seen together circling over Wareham Channel. Numerous sightings were also recorded once again across Holten Lee, Lytchett Bay and Middlebere.

A grand afternoon on Brownsea Lagoon produced 1 Curlew Sand, 1 Knot, 226 Dunlin, 11 Greenshank, 102 Redshank, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Avocet, 42 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Turnstone, 5 Ringed Plover, 12 Spoonbill, 1 Wheatear and 2 Peregrine. Several butterflies were also recorded including 1 Clouded Yellow & 3 Painted Lady. The water levels on the Lagoon are looking superb at current – offering incredible views of common wader species.

There were ‘Groppers’ galore on Lytchett Heath at the ringing session this morning. The record day saw a count of 32 Grasshopper Warblers!!

Sedge Warbler – Lytchett Heath

Grasshopper Warbler – Lytchett Heath

Harbour Update – posted 19/08/19

Posted on: August 19th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It was Osprey-tastic again today with numerous sightings around the Middlebere area with 2 different individuals seen with fish and another couple out in the Wareham Channel, and with our Osprey cruises coming up at the end of this week and most of next week the new arrivals couldn’t have come at a better time. SEE HERE FOR BOOKING INFO.

Find of the day goes to a summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebe off Jerry’s point which is about 2 months early, but we won’t grumble. At Lytchett Fields there were 14 Greenshank, 1 Marsh Harrier, another Osprey, 2 Tree Pipit overhead, 1 Hobby, 13 Green Sandpiper and 1 Common Sandpiper. In Brands Bay only singles of Grey Plover and Whimbrel were logged. At dawn a Barn Owl was sat on the Middlebere hide and there was a Peregrine on the Brownsea Lagoon.

Harbour Update – posted 18/08/19

Posted on: August 18th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Osprey were recorded all over the western side of the Habour today with numerous sightings logged across Holten Lee, Lytchett Bay, Wareham Channel and Middlebere. An impressive 3 Osprey were seen at the same time over the Wareham Channel at midday. Mid-August to early September can be the best time to try and spot Osprey about the Harbour as migrants stop off to refuel before continuing their migration south for the winter.

Spotted Flycatcher was also of note at Holten Lee this morning and the Studland Black Tern was still present at the same location as yesterday. A Hobby was hawking over both Coombe and Hyde’s Heath at Arne while the ASDA Peregrine was observed perching on the supermarket this afternoon.

Harbour Update – posted 17/08/19

Posted on: August 17th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Studland saw the Harbour’s first Black Tern of the Autumn. The bird was seen feeding between Redhorn Quay and Jerry’s Point this morning. Moving further north, Lytchett Bay punched in with another decent wader count including 8 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 76 Redshank, 41 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Greenshank, 9 Dunlin and 2 Spotted Redshank. Singles of Whimbrel, Hobby and a Marsh Harrier along Sherford River were also logged. An additional 2 Hobby were recorded at Morden Bog.

Continuing with bird of prey roundup, a single Osprey was recorded at Middlebere, again favouring the dead trees. Other sightings from the channel include 2 Greenshank, 2 Curlew and singles of Dunlin and Green Sandpiper.

Harbour Update – posted 16/08/19

Posted on: August 16th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A dreary day out in the Harbour today with 19mph SSW winds. Before the rain set in 3 Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper, 6 Redshank, 10 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, 19 Black-tailed Godwit, c70 Redshank and a Snipe were seen at Lytchett Bay.

An Osprey was photographed perched next to a nervous looking Pigeon from the Coombe Heath hide at Arne.

A brave birder surveyed Brownsea Island today and recorded several wet looking individuals including 122 Redshank, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Greenshank, 271 Dunlin, 75 Ringed Plover, 10 Avocet, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Turnstone, 293 Oystercatcher, 14 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Knot, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret, 10 Spoonbill, 60 Cormorant, 6 Moorhen, 3 Sandwich Tern, 37 Common Tern, 48 Great Black-backed Gull, 7 Herring Gull, 61 Black-headed Gull, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Shoveler, 12 Mallard, 16 Gadwall, 14 Shelduck and 48 Teal.

In Middlebere 7 Grey Plover flew over and another 3 landed in the channel plus a Green Sandpiper was on the pool in front of the hide with a Greenshank out on the mud. A juvenile Marsh Harrier also flew by.

Harbour Update – posted 15/08/19

Posted on: August 15th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Pleasantly long sunny intervals with what feels like never-ending westerlies was the theme for the day. With no change of wind direction in sight for at least the next week ahead, let’s hope for shift in direction come September. The Holton Lee Little Owl was seen today along with a single Spotted Flycatcher. There were 3 Redstart recorded at Sunnyside, while 2 Osprey were observed at Middlebere before flying north-west towards the Wareham Channel.

A scan with the Brownsea Lagoon webcam revealed 8 Spoonbill, 12 Avocet and reasonable numbers of Curlew, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Oystercatcher and a mobile mixed flock of Dunlin and Ringed Plover.

Harbour Update – posted 14/08/19

Posted on: August 14th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Extensive cloud cover, poor visibility and showers dominated throughout the day. At times Brownsea Island would disappear out of sight from Poole Quay. However, a scan with the Lagoon webcams revealed an influx of DunlinBlack-tailed GodwitGreenshankRinged Plover accompanying numerous RedshankAvocet and Curlew. The Lagoon is looking superb at the moment with heaps of exposed mud drawing in waders passing through the Harbour.

Seawatching from Branksome Chine produced a total of 5 Balearic Shearwater, 3 Kittiwake, 4 Fulmar, 3 Black-tailed Godwit and an abundance of GannetSandwich Tern and Common Tern. Wader counts at Lytchett Bay totalled 2  Spotted Redshank, 112 Redshank, 113 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Whimbrel, 19 Dunlin, 5 Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper, 1 Ringed Plover, 8 Greenshank, 2 Curlew and 70 Lapwing. A single Yellow-legged Gull and an early returning Little Grebe were also present. An evening visit to Sunnyside scrape produced 3 Wheatear and 3 Gadwall.

Harbour Update – posted 13/08/19

Posted on: August 13th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

You know things are getting birdy when you get excited about the possibility of hearing Tree Pipit calling at night. Ok, that sounds a bit OTT, but no more than going outside and experiencing Redwings on a cold, overcast October night. What many people don’t realise is that Tree Pipit move in big numbers in the latter part of August and early September, and by standing outside on an overcast night during this time period you can hear the high pitched flight calls of many Tree Pipit as they pass overhead through the dark. The reason we’re talking about this now is because we set our sound recording gear up last night in the Corfe Gap and recoded the first 2 Tree Pipit of the autumn. This is a low number, but at some sites like Ballard and Portland, these sites can sometimes reach over 1000 calls in a single night in late August which is quite an audible spectacle. Also through the Corfe Gap last night was a Common Sandpiper, 1 Nightjar and a mystery wader which sounded like it could have been an Avocet. At the PC World Drain there was also a decent flurry of migrants with 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Common Whitethroat, 8 Blackcap, 7 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff and 1 Kingfisher. At Lytchett Fields wader totals consisted of 121 Redshank, 74 Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Green Sandpiper, 9 Dunlin, 8 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper and 1 Ringed Plover. In Holes Bay north there was a great count of 3 Ruff along with 387 Black-tailed Godwit, 69 Redshank, 1 Whimbrel, 9 Ringed Plover and 1 Common Sandpiper. There was a Redstart sp (either Common or Black) on the Nuffield Estate. In Middlebere there was a summer plumaged Grey Plover along with a lone Spoonbill, 1 Ringed Plover 1 Peregrine and an Osprey was in the dead trees. On the Brownsea Lagoon 8 Spoonbill were present.

As mentioned on our social media channels late last week we successfully raised and released our 11 Osprey chicks this year and they instantly attracted the attention of the local pair, CJ7 and LS7 who’s daily routine now involves visiting our release site, nicking a load of fish from our feeding nests before then moving off and canoodling one a nest platform elsewhere in the harbour…young lovers hey!

Harbour Update – posted 12/08/19

Posted on: August 12th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

With the wind finally subsiding today it paved the way for more passerines to found around the harbour as well as a growing number of waders. At Sunnyside Farm the first Redstart of the autumn was in the hedgerow and at Lytchett Fields the first Yellow Wagtail was on the approach pools. Along the Turlin shoreline there was 1 Garden Warbler and 1 Whitethroat with another Garden Warbler at the PC World Drain. Up on Hartland 8 Wheatear were logged along with 2 Yellow Wagtail with cattle and several Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff.  Also at Lytchett Fields were 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Green Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, 5 Greenshank, c40 Common Redshank, 8 Dunlin, c40 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Whimbrel. In Middlebere 1 Spoonbill was feeding and there were 4 Ringed Plover, 8 Dunlin and 20 Black-tailed Godwit out on the mud whilst female Osprey ‘Beaky’ caught a whopper of Grey Mullet and sat quite happily on the Middlebere nest platform whilst devouring it. There were 2 other Osprey out in the Wareham Channel at dawn which we think were CJ7 and LS7. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 8 Spoonbill along with 1 Peregrine, 12 Avocet, 7 Greenshank and a smattering of Redshank, Dunlin and Oystercatcher.


Yellow Wagtail – Lytchett Fields 

Female Osprey ‘Beaky’ with huge Grey Mullet

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